New Residential Building In South Slope Could Dwarf Quiet And Nuanced 5th Avenue Block

New Residential Building In South Slope Could Dwarf Quiet And Nuanced 5th Avenue Block
643-45 5th Avenue
Rendering of 643-645 5th Avenue. (Image via YIMBY)

A seven-story building will be rising up on a street less known for luxury residences than for quiet neighbors and small, independent businesses.

The new residence will replace two low wooden-framed buildings at 643 and 645 5th Avenue (between 18th and 19th Streets), YIMBY reports.

Ofer Prager, the developer of the property, purchased the two buildings in 2015 for a combined total of $4,250,000. Prager is developing at least two other projects in Brooklyn: 45 Lenox Road in Flatbush as well as 688 Lincoln Avenue in East New York.

The rendering of the new building was created by ARC Architecture and Design and plans for 13 apartments as well as a ground-floor retail space measuring 1,100 square feet, according to YIMBY.

A seven-car parking garage, bike storage, an exercise room, and a roof deck are also slated to be part of the project.

643-645 5th Avenue
643-645 5th Avenue, June 2016. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

Nearby Roots Cafe (639 5th Avenue at 18th Street) will most likely by unaffected by this project. “Our little Roots building has a different owner and is not involved in this project as far as we know,” co-owner Amanda Neill told Park Slope Stoop. “Cheese grits forever!” The coffee and food place is a mecca for the arts scene, and counts many a regular from the neighborhood.

The Mexican bakery La Boulangerie Lopez (647 5th Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets) — which borders the south side of the planned building — is also not part of this project. You can continue to pick up your Mexican Challah and all other pastries at the beloved bakery.

But the character of the neighborhood is surely in question. The closing of nearby Mary’s Bar (708 5th Avenue at 22nd Street) caused many a neighbor and regular great disappointment. South Pub (629 5th Avenue) and Freddy’s Bar (627 5th Avenue) sit one block away — two local bars that serve as gathering spaces in the neighborhood.

And then, of course, there is the larger question of whether or not luxury development will continue to travel south on 5th Avenue and continue through Greenwood Heights. Construction and new buildings are planned very nearby as 4th Avenue development continues to move south.

ARC Architecture and Design does include La Boulangerie Lopez on its rendering. Perhaps this is a sign that developers will recognize the worth of their independent business neighbors and will place value on their presence. This block and others surrounding it serve as the soul of this neighborhood — and that soul will hopefully remain intact.

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